Thursday, October 06, 2016

Travellers may pay more for using aerobridges

In what may add to the fares paid by travellers, the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) plans to increase charges levied on airlines for availing the aerobridge service.
This comes in the backdrop of airport developers across the country in the process of adding aerobridges at domestic and international airports.
AERA determines the tariff for various aeronautical services including airports, navigation and aircraft operations.
An aerobridge is a corridor that connects an airport terminal to an aircraft and is used for boarding and de-boarding passengers. Aerobridges are economical in the long-run as in its absence airlines and airports ferry passengers from terminals to aircraft by buses.
“Charges could be doubled for narrow-bodied aircraft other than Airbus A-320,” said an AERA official requesting anonymity.
Currently, airport developers including the government-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI), charge up to Rs.25,000 per flight for aerobridge facility for a narrow-bodied domestic flight.
“Airport developers, both private and state-owned, will be given freedom to tax more for new aerobridge facility at airports, which would be compliant with all narrow-bodied aircraft. However, the increased charges may lead to increase in airfares,” the official added.
InfraCircle on 15 September reported that AAI—in a bid to reduce operational costs, improve security and passenger convenience—plans to add 100 aerobridges across the country. All the 16 international airports operated by AAI will get new aerobridges. There are six international airports operated by private operators.
At present, there are 300 aerobridges across airports. Of these, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru—all operated by private developers—alone have over 250 aerobridges. Aerobridges for narrow-bodied planes are also being planned at airports at the time they are upgraded and expanded.
06/10/16 Sanjay Singh/Infra Circle
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